Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 31, 2014

Iraq, Afghanistan, Iraq, Afghanistan in the Week Ahead

Anyone who wanted to could visit multiple congressional hearings or think tank events related to Iraq, Afghanistan or both every day this week. The headline event? House floor consideration of the annual defense spending bill. Oh, and on Friday, President Barack Obama meets with the prime minister of New Zealand, land of Flight of the Conchords, although they’re not expected to join forces with the United States on … Iraq.

On Monday morning, a number of high-ranking officials from Turkey — which shares a border with hot spots Syria and Iraq — will be at the center of the Middle East Institute’s annual conference on the country.

Tuesday: In the morning, George Washington University hosts a discussion in the morning on “American Foreign Policy After Afghanistan and Iraq.” And a House Appropriations subcommittee considers the annual fiscal 2015 State-Foreign Operations spending bill in the afternoon. The House Rules Committee will get a look at prospective amendments to the fiscal 2015 Defense spending bill Tuesday night.

On Wednesday, all the biggest action is on the Hill. Besides floor debate for the Defense spending bill in the House and a scheduled vote on moving to House-Senate negotiations on a bill the Senate passed in response to the Veterans Affairs health care scandal, the day brings a couple more big congressional hearings, first with the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee hearing from both Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; then, with the Senate Foreign Relations panel hearing from top State and Defense officials on Afghanistan.

At noon Thursday, the Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts some key lawmakers for a talk entitled “Sustaining America’s Enduring Role in the Asia-Pacific Region: A Congressional Perspective,” and an hour later, the Atlantic Council hears from the German defense minister and others for “Security In and Around Europe.” The Hill stays involved with a Senate Appropriations subcommittee mark up of its version of the fiscal 2015 State-Foreign Operations spending bill, while the Senate Armed Services Committee has a hearing on the nominations of a number of meaningful Defense Department nominees.

The House Veterans Affairs Committee on Friday will hold a “Review of Awarding Bonuses to Senior Executives at the Department of Veterans Affairs.”

  • derek

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  • http://vato21stcentury.blogspot.com/ Jim S.

    Hawks and entire GOPer supporters, right after spitting all over the only POW of the abandoned long ago missions and those sent to accomplish so quickly after 9/11 are screaming about their want to go back into Iraq. Once again No Mention As To The Results From Those War Drums Beating: i.e. the people served Responsibility the Veterans Administration!! Both wars yet to be paid for and they want more ‘free wars’, as long as others, the real 1%, serve in them!!! Not the 1% that reap the profits from!!!

    Senate Passes VA Reform Bill – June 2014
    February 27, 2014 – Senate Blocks Dem Bill Boosting Vets’ Benefits

    “Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013

    5/28/14
    - Vietnam veterans call Richard Burr (minority leader on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee) ‘insulting’ “”The Vietnam Veterans for America is slamming Sen. Richard Burr in a new letter, saying his comments about veterans service organizations were “insulting” and “ugly.””"

    Rep Millier (R-FL)- House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman: “But Miller is vowing to find the billions needed to pay for it — which could pose a challenge.” ““We’ll pay for it. We’ve got to pay for it,” he said on Wednesday evening. “We’ll have to find a way.””

    Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said the Senate bill created “an unlimited entitlement program” for veterans and voted against it.

    Just three lawmakers — all Republican senators — voted against the veterans measures. In addition to Sessions, Republican Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin voted no.
    Sen Ron Johnsons Pathetic Excuse for Voting NO: “Johnson blamed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for rushing “a different bill onto the floor of the Senate without even an estimate of costs.” ”

    Here’s your answer Miller and Sessions as to that ‘unlimited entitlement program’:

    “If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too” “not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American.” -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    All above and their party ideology long to privatize, the peoples served responsibility, the VA for corporate profit off the peoples treasury, they’ll then finally stop obstructing VA budgets and be able to legislate extra fee’s and more for those corporate entities as they bring along all the problems, never mentioned, in the cash rich to fix already but don’t untill made public, private sector! While they quickly rubber stamped the abandoning of the missions and those sent after 9/11 and All war costs, including no bid private contracts, building a
    private merc army that morphed into another intelligence gathering agency ot regulated, no over site and now no known budget costs for, rubber stamped, off the books till executive administrations changed and all borrowed with two tax cuts, still. Along with all the other bushco want policies, rubber stamped and not funded!!

    The Country that ‘Talks the Talk’ but rarely ‘Walks the Walk’!! Patriotism Posers who loves the free wars and ignore any sacrifice as to the long term results from! Long ignoring the many issues of Veterans, throw a few million
    every now and then for studies they already know the results they want, especially as a result of our wars. Them representatives leading that ignoring while attacking the under funded VA, decades now and wars from, they control the purse strings of the Country! While political ideologues on conservative side made comfortable livings writing and speak on issues like PTS denying it exists and still do. Like Sally Satel, M.D.. Resident scholar at the Conservative American Enterprise Institute still reaping in and still denying. Then there’s Agent Orange, Gulf War Syndrome and so many more

    Gen Shinseki had a target on him after speaking Military Truth and the bushco fired him with the cheers of the flag wavin poser patriots!! They praised the bushco VA administrators, as those did nothing, as they do under any conservative administration also doing extremely little but photo op legislation, not funded, to carry that Poser Patriotism for their Poser Patriots!!

    Knock the Poser Patriotism Off!!! It’s Actually Worse Then Being a Military Poser!!

    USN All Shore GMG3 ’67-’71 Vietnam In Country ’70-’71 – Independent **

    • http://vato21stcentury.blogspot.com/ Jim S.

      The bushco and conservative congresses totally destroyed that pandora’s box, it wasn’t only taking out the once CIA asset and bush family friend Saddam, and what was forecast to happen, once again from our policies in our names, is happening!! And yes Saddam was a brutal tyrant but he was a great friend of daddy bush CIA and an asset of, like bin Laden, and many that came in with jr bush, reason he had to go, he knew too much about them all!! The supporters then want to resend our military into, they just don’t want to serve in nor Sacrifice anything themselves, Poser Patriots!!
      It was Real Easy for the bushco, and conservative rubber stamping congresses, to lead the Abandoning of the Missions and those sent so Quickly after 9/11 and Greatly expanding the recruiting and ideologies of the al Qaeda style international criminal terrorism to other regions, and with the backing of 70%plus of the country who still haven’t paid for either!! As well as once again ignoring their Responsibility to fully fund the VA, ignoring so many issues, for the decade plus and the previous decades and wars from, DeJa-Vu all over again, while this VA leadership with help from the whole Executive Brach is building what the country should already have!!! All the country walked from Accountability!!

      Iraq War Promoted Terrorism Rather Than Reducing It

      “24 April 2014 – Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War promoted terrorism rather than reducing it and was a “strategic failure”, according to a major new report which estimated the cost of all UK conflicts since the end of the Cold War.
      The Royal United Services Institute said the UK could face a bill of nearly £65bn, once the cost of long-term care for injured veterans was factored in, with most of the money was spent on the wars
      in Iraq and Afghanistan.
      The study, called Wars in Peace, said both conflicts were largely “strategic failures” for the UK, The Guardian reported.”

      The British Iraq War Inquiry

      In the above link, soon to be released and with redacted bush/blair private conversations which have been holding up the release, is the site of the often called ‘Chilcot Inquiry’, you will find these from the early public testimony:

      24 November 2009 – Even before Bush’s administration came to power an article written by his then national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, warned that “nothing will change” in Iraq until Saddam was gone

      27 November 2009 – But there was a ‘sea change’ in attitude after the atrocities, with former national security adviser Condoleezza Rice targeting Iraq on the very day of the outrage.

      30 November 2009 – George Bush tried to make a connection between Iraq and al-Qaida in a conversation with Tony Blair three days after the 9/11 attacks, according to Blair’s foreign policy adviser of the time.

      1 December 2009 – There was “a touching belief [in Washington] that we shouldn’t worry so much about the aftermath because it was all going to be sweetness and light”.

      3 December 2009 – Boyce mentions the “dysfunctionalism” of Washington. He says that he would find himself briefing his American counterparts on what was happening in different parts of the US administration. Rumsfeld was not sharing information

      USN All Shore GMG3 ’67-’71 Vietnam In Country ’70-’71 – Independent **

  • Yonatan YONATAN

    THERE ARE STILL MORE THAN THREE MILLION UNEMPLOYED FAMILIES WITHOUT AN EXTENSION OF BENEFITS SINCE LATE LAST DECEMBER. THE REPUBLICAN SENATE HAS HELD THE EXTENSION BILL HOSTAGE IN THE SENATE FOR MORE THAN FIVE MONTHS NOW. MEANWHILE THESE FAMILIES HAVE FALLEN INTO FINANCIAL RUIN AND COLLAPSE. THE REPUBLICANS HAVE TURNED THEIR BACKS ON THESE AMERICANS. THESE PEOPLE ARE DESPERATELY IN NEED OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE. OUR GOVERNMENT HAS JUST GIVEN BILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO THE UKRAINE, AND WILL BE SPENDING BILLIONS MORE TO DEFEND EUROPE. WHY CAN’T THEY HELP AMERICANS HERE AT HOME TOO??

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